Rights in the Australian health care system

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights describes your rights when using health care services. The Charter is under review and this information is based on the draft second edition released in January 2019. 

Learn more about:


You have a right to receive adequate and timely services and treatment that meet your health care needs. These services will be free if you have a current Medicare card and are treated in a public hospital. You have the right to obtain a second opinion.

Cancer Care SafetySafety

You have a right to receive safe, high quality, evidence-based care in an environment that is safe. If you are worried that something has been overlooked, talk with your health care provider. If required, you should receive instructions about how to safely care for yourself at home.

Cancer Care RespectRespect

You have a right to have your care needs, preferences and values taken into account, and to be treated with dignity and respect. Services should be free from discrimination, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual preference.

Cancer Care PartnershipPartnership

You have a right to be involved in decisions about your treatment and ongoing care in partnership with your health care team. For example, you have the right to accept or refuse any treatment you are offered, and to decide whether to take part in medical research or participate in the clinical training of junior doctors and other students. If you don’t want to receive care, you can leave a health facility at any time, at your own risk and liability. You have the right to include family members, friends and carers in your decision-making and meetings with doctors.

Cancer Care InformationInformation

You have a right to receive all the information you need to be able to give informed consent for treatment. Health care providers should clearly explain the risks, benefits and costs of services, tests and treatment options. You can ask questions if you need more information. You can request free interpreter services if English is not your first language. You have the right to access your health information. If something goes wrong, you should be told about it and what is being done to fix it.

Cancer Care FeedbackGive feedback

You have a right to give appropriate feedback or make a complaint, and for any concerns to be dealt with fairly and promptly.

Cancer Care PrivacyPrivacy

You have a right to privacy. Your personal and health information must be kept private and confidential (except in very limited circumstances). This includes discussions you have with health care providers, and your written and online medical records. You have the right to talk to your doctor in a quiet, private room, and to decline visitors, even during hospital visiting hours.

The Private Patients’ Hospital Charter sets out the rights and responsibilities of private patients in public and private hospitals. 

Listen to our podcast on Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on cancer care and your rights

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in June 2019
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends